360° images are an innovative way to bring your customers a level of immersion that is not possible with pictures alone. These images give a customer a full view of a room or exterior of the property that they can sweep and pan around as if they were at the property. 360° images are also a great way for inspectors to capture an entire overview of a room in one click.
These types of photos can only be taken with a dedicated 360° camera and not with an app on your phone or tablet. They are more than simple panoramic photos. Click here to read more about 360° images.
Adding 360° images to your reports requires a couple of extra steps that might differ from your normal workflow for handling report photos. Follow these directions to add 360° to your report. In the example below we are using the Ricoh Theta SC camera.
Adding 360° Images to Your Report
- Create a new folder on your desktop for your photos. Right click on the desktop and select New. Name the folder 360 images. This will help you find the folder easier.
- Connect your 360° camera to your PC with a USB cable.
- You might see this notification on your computer. Click it and then choose the option Open device to view files.
- If you don't see a notification, click Windows start button and then Documents.
- Under This PC, click your camera.
- Click into Fixed Storage > DCIM > photo folder (might be called 100RICOH). You should see your 360° images.
- Drag your images into your new 360 Photos folder.
- Open the HomeGauge software and open the report that you intend to add the 360° images to.
- In the picture pane, click Select Folder.
- In the Select Folder window, scroll up until you see Desktop. Click the + button beside it to expand it. Highlight the folder 360 Photos and click OK.
- You will now see your 360° image in the photo pane. A 360° image is denoted by the 360° logo in the corner of the thumbnail. If you do not see this logo, the photo is not in the correct format and will not function as a 360° image.
If you do not see the 360° logo, the image(s) will have to be re-added. Please reconnect your 360° camera and re-import the image(s) from the device. Refresh the photo folder within HomeGauge by clicking the Preview/Refresh button. If you still are unable to see that the image is added as desired, it's possible the photo was taken incorrectly from the device.
- Add the photo as normal, by dragging and dropping it into the desired component item and click OK. The 360° image has now been successfully added.
Notice: 360° images cannot be edited within HomeGauge so do not be alarmed when you don't see the standard editing tools found from adding standard photos.
Practice, practice, practice! It's always good to practice with new tools and methods before you get into the field. Walk around your house and get the feel for using your new 360° camera and then practice adding these photos to your report. When you get ready to do an actual inspection for a customer, you will be more adept in using your camera and delivering the best images possible.